Archive for California

Desert Camping Again

Desert Camping Again

Damsel and I drove the usual route down US 60 to I-10 and on into the RV park in Palm Desert, CA. It was a good trip with lots of desert wildflowers, lots of sunshine and at one point, lots of traffic. The latter only lasting a few miles just east of Chiriaco Summit where there was some construction and a one-lane restriction on I-10 westbound. Regardless of the brief slowdown, it was a pleasure to drive the new RV along the route.

As I mentioned in the post about the maiden voyage, this is likely our last trip to this campground for a while. We will, however, be on the road again next month for a longer excursion.

One quick anecdote about this campsite; we backed in to the parking slot and set up camp as usual. However, when we went to deploy the Winegard DirecTV satellite dish, it got fouled up in the low hanging branches of the Chinese Elm tree next to the site. I wound up having to break camp and move the rig to the right and forward on the pad to allow the dish to have unimpeded access to the part of the sky where the geosats hang out. After the move, everything is working great.

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Maiden Voyage

Palazzo in Palm Desert

On Friday, we finished preparations for our initial excursion in the new RV. We had been stocking the RV with the necessities ever since we brought it home from the dealer. Naturally, we didn’t remember everything, so we went without some items and improvised on others. Damsel has been keeping a log of things we need the next time. It will be better next month.

The drive out was a pretty good test for the new rig. We encountered gusty winds and the usual rough road on select places along I-10. The Palazzo handled much better than our previous class A. The new air ride smoothed out the teeth-chattering bad spots on I-10 between Quartzsite and Blythe to mere thuds underneath rather than the entire inventory of dishes and other things on board banging up and down. The rear-engine configuration allowed normal conversation in the cockpit rather than having to shout to be heard, especially when in lower gears going uphill.

We will be back out here again sometime in March for another visit. In April, however, we have a longer excursion planned to Northern California to welcome our second great grandchild who is due the middle of that month. We will also take some scenic routes along the way going and returning.

We are enjoying the new rig and accessories. The DirecTV receiver allows us to view our regular programming just like we were at home. Wait! We ARE at home away from home. :D

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January Campsite

January Campsite

We’re in our usual desert RV park visiting the kids and grandson. As you can see from the photo, the campground is nearly full. There are a few sites here and there that are empty. Many of the license plates on the RVs are from colder states whose occupants are obviously here to escape winter. A.K.A “Snowbirds.”

I met one of the neighbors who hails from Spokane; he and his wife will be camped here until March. He mentioned that back home there is eighteen inches of snow on the ground. I cannot blame those northerners who are able to escape the winter weather for heading south during the winter.

Damsel and I look at the license plates at home in Wickenburg too, since our town is a very popular place for snowbirds and rodeo participants. Thursday last, we counted a dozen or more from places like Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Oregon and even a couple from Alaska.

While Damsel and I are bundled up against our “winter” conditions (highs in the 50’s), some of those guys show up at the store in shorts and T shirts. I guess coldness is a relative thing.

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Ominous Road Warning

Ominous Road Warning

Damsel and I made the trip from Arizona to the California Low Desert today. The weather was agreeable for most of the way with the exception of some crosswinds that affected our transition along some places as we drove along Interstate 10. The warnings were not without merit, although we have had worse conditions on previous trips.

Damsel took this photo as we approached Desert Center. The traffic was a bit heavier than the last few times we made this trip. We cannot connect the additional traffic with any specific event or holiday, so I presume the heavier traffic is a random event.

At any rate, we are comfortably camping in Palm Desert this evening and will be entertaining our kids and grandson over the weekend. They stopped by for a little visit before heading to the other grandparent’s place to bed down until tomorrow when they will return for another visit.

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Camping in the ‘Stan

Campsite in Palm Desert

We are at our campsite in Palm Desert this evening. We already visited with the family who dropped by for a couple of hours. They will be back tomorrow for a BBQ here in the RV park. The highlight of tonight’s visit is the grandson is now walking on his own at fifteen months (finally).

The other interesting thing is the snowbird phenomenon that we have in the Arizona desert is also here in the K-stan desert. The park is nearly packed in contrast to our summer visits here when we have our pick of available parking sites with only a few hearty summertime visitors with whom to compete.

We plan to be here until our departure on Monday. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Camping Day B - Palm Desert, CA

Emerald Desert RV Park

Tonight, we are at Emerald Desert RV Park in Palm Desert, CA. We have been coming to this facility for over a year now on just about a monthly basis to visit with the kids and the now one year old grandson. We will be here for two nights at this five star campground and heading back to Wickenburg on Sunday.

While we are relaxing and blogging about being here, getting here was quite another story. We left Bakersfield this morning at about 10:30 AM expecting about a four and one-half hour drive. Alas, when we got to Boron, CA, on the high desert we encountered an extreme traffic jam. When I say extreme, I mean the sort of delay where we went 6.2 miles from Boron to Kramer Junction in an hour and a half. That’s 4⅓ miles per hour on average.

The delay getting past the traffic threw us enough off schedule that when we got to the Inland Empire (San Berdoo, etc.) we were greeted with rush hour slowdowns on I-15, I-215 and I-10. The net result was that we had a late check-in at the campground (office closes at six and we were here at ten after). In spite of all that, we’re relaxed and unwinding from a rather unpleasant commute.

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Camping Day A - Near Bakersfield, CA

Bakersfield, CA

We’re camped in a place called Orange Grove RV Park a bit east of Bakersfield proper. They really do have orange trees throughout the campground, albeit not as dense as one might expect in a commercial orchard. The ladies in the office told us to come back in December when the oranges will be ripe and are free for the picking.

Our itinerary for tomorrow takes us to Palm Desert, CA. We are going to cross over the mountain range east of here through Tehachapi, CA, thence via high desert routing through Kramer Junction and on down through Cajon Pass where we will get on I-10 going toward the low desert.

I labeled the camping day as “A” because this end of the schedule was not as easily numerated as the trip going from Arizona, through Utah and Nevada and on into Central California. I used alpha designators for the last legs of the excursion to keep it simple and flexible for use in the GPS trip planning application while not having to pin down an exact number of days out for a given leg.

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